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  • News

    Human gene editing therapies are OK in certain cases, panel advises

    Human gene editing to prevent genetic diseases from being passed to future generations may be permissible under certain conditions, a panel of experts says.

    Altering DNA in germline cells — embryos, eggs, and sperm, or cells that give rise to them — may be used to cure genetic diseases for future generations, provided it is done only to correct disease or disability, not to enhance...

    02/14/2017 - 16:38 Genetics, Science & Society
  • News

    Physically abused kids learn to fail at social rules for success

    Physical abuse at home doesn’t just leave kids black and blue. It also bruises their ability to learn how to act at school and elsewhere, contributing to abused children’s well-documented behavior problems.

    Derailment of a basic form of social learning has, for the first time, been linked to these children’s misbehavior years down the line, psychologist Jamie Hanson of the University of...

    02/13/2017 - 12:00 Psychology, Mental Health, Human Development
  • Reviews & Previews

    Mysteries of time still stump scientists

    Why Time FliesAlan BurdickSimon & Schuster, $28

    The topic of time is both excruciatingly complicated and slippery. The combination makes it easy to get bogged down. But instead of an exhaustive review, journalist Alan Burdick lets curiosity be his guide in Why Time Flies, an approach that leads to a light yet supremely satisfying story about time as it runs through — and is perceived...

    02/08/2017 - 07:00 Neuroscience, Psychology
  • News

    Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

    Abnormal is the new normal in mental health.

    A small, poorly understood segment of the population stays mentally healthy from age 11 to 38, a new study of New Zealanders finds. Everyone else encounters either temporary or long-lasting mental disorders.

    Only 171 of 988 participants, or 17 percent, experienced no anxiety disorders, depression or other mental ailments from late...

    02/07/2017 - 12:58 Psychology, Mental Health
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Cannibalism’ chronicles grisly science of eating your own

    CannibalismBill SchuttAlgonquin Books, $26.95

    Until recently, researchers thought cannibalism took place only among a few species in the animal kingdom and only under extraordinary circumstances. But as zoologist Bill Schutt chronicles in Cannibalism, plenty of creatures inhabit their own version of a dog-eat-dog world.

    Over the last few decades, scientists have observed...

    02/05/2017 - 08:00 Animals, Anthropology
  • News

    DNA points to millennia of stability in East Asian hunter-fisher population

    In a remote corner of eastern Russia, where long winters bring temperatures that rarely flicker above freezing, the genetic legacy of ancient hunter-gatherers endures.

    DNA from the 7,700-year-old remains of two women is surprisingly similar to that of people living in that area today, researchers report February 1 in Science Advances. That finding suggests that at least some people in...

    02/03/2017 - 15:44 Anthropology, Genetics, Agriculture
  • Scicurious

    Analysis finds gender bias in peer-reviewer picks

    Gender bias works in subtle ways, even in the scientific process. The latest illustration of that: Scientists recommend women less often than men as reviewers for scientific papers, a new analysis shows. That seemingly minor oversight is yet another missed opportunity for women that might end up having an impact on hiring, promotions and more.  

    Peer review is one of the bricks in the...

    02/03/2017 - 12:30 Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Cow carved in stone paints picture of Europe’s early human culture

    This stone engraving of an aurochs, or wild cow, found in a French rock-shelter in 2012, provides glimpses of an ancient human culture’s spread across Central and Western Europe, researchers say.

    Rows of dots partly cover the aurochs. A circular depression cut into the center of the animal’s body may have caused the limestone to split in two, says Stone Age art specialist Raphaëlle...

    02/03/2017 - 07:00 Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • News

    Iron Age secrets exhumed from riches-filled crypt

    Discoveries in a richly appointed 2,600-year-old burial chamber point to surprisingly close ties between Central Europe’s earliest cities and Mediterranean societies. Dated to 583 B.C., this grave also helps pin down when people inhabited what may have been the first city north of the Alps.

    An array of fine jewelry, luxury goods and even a rare piece of horse armor found in the grave...

    02/02/2017 - 14:00 Archaeology, Anthropology
  • Context

    In 20th century, astronomers opened their minds to gazillions of galaxies

    WASHINGTON — Before astronomers could discover the expansion of the universe, they had to expand their minds.

    When the 20th century began, astronomers not only didn’t know the universe was expanding, they didn’t even care.

    “Astronomers in the late 19th century and the very start of the 20th century were very little interested in what we would call the broader universe or its...

    02/02/2017 - 07:00 Astronomy, History of Science